Washington Watch - 4/22/13
TAX DAY – COULD THIS BE THE LAST ONE?
Tax Day 2013 has come and gone. With it, gone are countless hours and billions of dollars spent complying with a tax code that not one of us can truly understand. As the sponsor of H.R. 25, the FairTax, I am always hopeful that each tax day will be the very last one as the FairTax ends the hassles and the headaches of our income and April 15 becomes just another spring day. Those of you who are working side-by-side with me to make this happen know that the FairTax doesn’t become law overnight, but each day we get a little bit closer. I wanted to share with you just a few of the ways that we pushed the FairTax toward passage last week.
While I believe that the FairTax will only become law if voters across the country demand it, I still take every opportunity to push Washington opinion leaders to get on board with the FairTax. On Monday, I went to the University Club in Washington, D.C., to speak on its tax reform panel. Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX) went with me to share the flat tax and I, of course, talked about the FairTax. The feedback that I received was great, as it almost always is. One meeting and one panel at the time, I’m going to change the minds of those who don’t believe that we can get this done.
To help move this tax reform debate across the country, we have put together a group of FairTax experts who are taking the flat tax/FairTax debate across the country. This week, I encouraged all of my colleagues in the House to host one of these debates in their district. Congressman Vern Buchanan of Florida sits on the Ways and Means Committee and he has already hosted this debate. I expect many more to accept the invitation going forward.
To make sure that all of my colleagues continue to stay focused on the FairTax goal, I also took to the House floor to share the message as I often do. You can watch it by clicking below. If you look carefully, you’ll see my FairTax lapel pin which I wear every day. It is a constant reminder to all of my colleagues that there is a better way if only we have the courage to choose it.
Click image or hereto watch video.
WORKING WITH THE WAYS AND MEANS CHAIRMAN
As a member of the Policy Committee, I had a chance to visit last week with Congressman Dave Camp, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Chairman Camp has been working very hard to bring tax reform to America this year. Just as we decided when we crafted the FairTax, rather than simply tweaking the tax code he wants to end the current code and start with a blank sheet of paper to ask, “what goes in?”
The Chairman’s openness gives me confidence that FairTaxers across America will have the opportunity to play a role in the upcoming debate, a debate that I sense will happen in 2013. Chairman Camp held a hearing on the FairTax in the last congress and has committed to include all proposals in the reform discussion. There are a lot of different visions across America for tax reform, and we do not yet have the votes that we need to pass the FairTax. All Chairman Camp can do is commit to an open debate; it is up to you and me to do the rest if we want to see the FairTax become the law of the land.
HOLDING THE U.S. TREASURY ACCOUNTABLE
This week I co-sponsored the “Full Faith and Credit Act,” a bill that would direct the U.S. Treasury, in the event that the debt ceiling is reached, to pay the interest on the federal debt before making any other payments. This bill would prevent the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury from choosing to default on the debt. I know it sounds ridiculous that the Treasury would “choose” to default, but you and I have just gone through the “sequester” debate where it seems that some agencies are choosing the most painful path possible to implement spending reductions, as if they hope to create a public outcry. I’m disappointed in the way the sequester is being implemented today, and we cannot risk it repeating itself in the next debate. Read more about this bill here that will ensure the full faith and credit of the United States
COMING THIS WEEK
Tuesday - The House Rules Committee will convene to discuss HR 1549, a bill to examine the funding shortfall and early closure of the Affordable Care Act’s pre-existing conditions program.
Wednesday - My colleagues and I on the House Budget Committee will convene a hearing on the “State of the Highway Trust Fund: Long-Term Solutions for Solvency.” The hearing will begin at 10:00AM. You can watch the hearing live here. This is an important issue for Georgia infrastructure maintenance and development.
Thursday - I will join my colleagues on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to hold a hearing to address concerns about bulk purchases of ammunition by the federal government. The hearing will begin at 10:00AM. You can watch the hearing live here.
Friday - I will join Secretary of State John Kerry and the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to discuss potential threats from Syria and North Korea in regards to national policy.
Member of Congress